Sleepy Bac Ha wakes up for the riot of colour and commerce that is its Sunday market, when the lanes fill to choking point and villagers flock in from the hills and valleys. Once the barter, buy and sell is done and the day-tripper tourist buses from Sapa have left, the town rolls over and goes back to bed for the rest of the week.
Despite being surrounded by countryside just as lush and interesting as Sapa, Bac Ha has somehow flown under the radar as a trekking base so far. In town, woodsmoke fills the morning air, the main street is completely bereft of hawkers, and chickens and pigs snuffle for scraps in the back lanes where a small clutch of traditional adobe houses valiantly clings on in the age of concrete.
Just out of town, trails meander through swooping verdant valleys with their hill-slope rice terraces, connecting the tiny villages of 11 hill-tribe groups. The colourful Flower Hmong are the most visible, but other ethnic minorities in the area include Dzao, Giay (Nhang), Han (Hoa), Xa Fang, Lachi, Nung, Phula, Tay, Thai and Thu lao.
If you're not worried about a lack of in-town amenities, and are turned off by Sapa's hustle, Bac Ha may just tick your boxes as an alternative base from where to launch yourself out on highland hikes.
DAY 1: HANOI - SAPA BY BUS - SHORT TREK TO CAT CAT VILLAGE (L, D)
6.30 – 7.00: Pick up from your hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter or meeting point (Hanoi Opera House), get on big bus and depart for Sapa.
9.30: Follow the highway to Lao Cai city with the first comfort break
11.00: Second comfort break at Lao Cai city before approaching Sapa
13.00: Arrive Sapa Town with colorful traditional costumes of H’mong, Dzao, Tay ethnic People. Our tour guide will inform short information to you before checking in then enjoy the set menu lunch with Vietnamese cuisine.
14.30: A short drive to the gate of Cat Cat village which is home of Black H’mong ethnic people and is located near the bottom of a deep valley at the foot of Fansipan Peak. Our local guide will show you the daily life activities of the locals, go trekking down to the valley bottom to the waterfall - Hydraulic Power Station; stop for photo with bridge and waterfall then you will walk uphill for bus to pick up to get back to Sapa in the afternoon.
Trekking distance is about 2.5 kms and it lasts for 2 hours
17.00: Come back to Sapa Town. Free at leisure until 19:00 Have dinner and overnight in hotel with night activities.
Day 2: SAPA - Cat Cat - Sin Chai ( B/L/D)
Have breakfast at your hotel. Trek around 10 km to visit two villages of the Black H'mong (Catcat and SinChai). Visit the waterfall and hydroelectric power station established by the French in CatCat village, nice landscapes of green forests and beautiful scenery along the way. Walk back to Sapa. Check out the hotel. Have lunch at the local restaurant. Afternoon, free to visit Sapa town, market, church and flower garden in Ham Rong mountain... Overnight in hotel.
DAY 3: Bac Ha market (on Sunday only) - HANOI (B, L)
7:00am Breakfast in hotel then start going to Bac Ha, Located at 110km from Sapa, Bac Ha mountain town is well-known by travelers with the most colorful market of the hill tribes in the North of Vietnam. This every-Sunday-market attended by at least 8 ethnic groups and last from 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM. It is also chance for tourists to discover the H’mong King’s palace (old building built by the French & Chinese).
In the afternoon, we go for a light trek to visit Ban Pho, the village is home to flower H’mong minority. We are invited to enter several local houses to have some green tea, corn wine, listen to the host talking about their family, talk to them… and then enjoy landscapes on a roundabout way to Bac Ha for get back to Sapa
14.45 - 15.00: Meet all group members at hotel to get ready for Hanoi.
15.30: Get on bus to go back to Hanoi with two comfort breaks.
21.15: We say goodbye to you at your hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter. Finish the trip to Sapa Tour 3 Days 3 Night by Bus
Modern air – conditioning bus with comfortable seats from Hanoi – Sapa and return.
Free pick up and see off in Hanoi Old Quarter
Complimentary bottles of water, tissues /2 ways/person on bus Ha Noi – Sapa – Ha Noi
English speaking tour guide escorted Hanoi – Sapa - Hanoi, local guide in Sapa, Bac Ha
Meals as 2 dinners, 3 lunches, 2 breakfasts
All entrance tickets to indicated sites
2 nights with Superior room in Hotel or similar on twin sharing basis
Insurance during time using the bus
Others not clearly mentioned above
Free of charge for children under 4 years sharing bed with parents.
Surcharge 75% rate of adult for children (5-9 years) sharing bed with parents.
Over 9 years is adult’s rate
A couple travel with 2 chidren. The 2nd Child will be charge 100% adults ticket
Quote price is applied for the booking of group of 2 up
Quoted price is NOT applied for the tour departs on: Christmas Day (24-26 Dec), Eva New Year (31 Dec, 1 Jan), Lunar New Year, Liberty Day (30 Apr), Labor Day (1 May), Independence Day (2 Sep)
Surcharge US$30/pax for those booking departs on Holiday as mentioned above
THING TO BRING:
Warm clothes, scarf, hat, cap because the weather in Sapa is pretty unpredictable. It is normally cold in September, October, November, December, January, February and March
Due to altitude of Sapa, it is sometimes foggy in December, January, February and March.
Trekking shoes, sun glasses, sun cream, insect repellent are also necessary. You should take cash with you in Vietnam Dong because banking system in Sapa sometimes doesn’t function well. US Dollar, Euro, Australian Dollar are accepted in Sapa.
You should take medicine with you although there are some chemist’s shops in Sapa in case you get sick.